Premise: this is my single class Fighter build. It can be built and played in a lot of different ways, but as of 1.12 this is the build that gives me the most interesting results. I picked Unbroken, but the build doesn't rely on a specific subclass, although I suggest you don't choose Devoted unless you're ready to entirely rely on poisons, drugs and such for some fight. This build has absolutely no reliance on consumables at the endgame. You never rest unless you want to.
The basic concept is to maximize the effect of Unbending, which the Single Class Fighter gets at level 9. With high Might and high Int and a minimal amount of +healing, Unbending completely overheals any kind of damage your fighter takes for around 30 seconds. With the Unbending Shield upgrade, you ignore all interrupts during that time. With resistance to all afflictions and immunity to some, you ignore all status effects and debuffs that could be dangerous to you. If you do that while keeping your Deflection as low as possible, with low resolve and using the Sword/Estoc Modal, enemies will crit you all the time, triggering your Toughened Fury at level 16, letting you recover Discipline.
In a party, you will act as a low deflection, low armor damage magnet that is also impervious to everything, the perfect tank.
Solo, you use big two handers to maximize damage per discipline with Clean Sweep.
As an added bonus, this build also happens to optimize the damage output of the strongest weapon that was ever put in the game, the 1.2 bugged Wahai Poraga, which you trigger with Sundering Blow at level 19 for a glorious whirlwind of doom with +7 penetration.
Class: Fighter/Unbroken (but really, anything works)
Race: Mountain Dwarf (or Coastal Amaua/Wood Elf, but only if you have the Devil of Caroc's Breastplate in your world)
Solo/Party: great in both.
Type: Defender/Crowd Controller/AOE Striker
Starting stats (without blessings)
20 Might (max)
17 Dex (max)
18 Int (max)
3 Res (min)
Recommended skills: none. Do as you like, this build doesn't care. There's some room for a variant that uses the potion belt and extra quick item slots if you want to go for alchemy.
Secondary skills: just take whatever you want. We don't care about them. I guess if you go for the Alchemy belt variant, History will be nice. We won't need the extra defense anyway.
So before we take our skills we need to select our gear. The reason is, we're going for Resistance across the board. There are several ways to build the character depending on your items, so here are our options:
Constitution resistance: Mountain Dwarf racial
Might resistance: Body Control (skill) or Boots of the Stone (feet)
Dexterity resistance: Unstoppable (skill) or Gwyn's Bridal Garter (belt) or Engwithan Bracers (hands)
Intellect resistance: Immune (Modwyr) or resistant Devil of Caroc (breastplate)
Resolve resistance: Fearless (skill), Wahaki Tua (neck)
Perception resistance: Immune (Effigy's Husk) or resistant Defiant Apparel (hat)
So the question is, how many of those resistance items are we going to use. Depending on the answer, we're going to need to spend one, two or three ability points on resistances. Or none.
For the sake of this post I'm going for the Alchemy variant, using Boots of the Stone, Engwithan Bracers, Modwyr on switch and Effigy's Husk for resistances.
Weapon proficiencies: Sword, (Large Shield for levelling), Polearm, Great Sword, Arquebus, Club
Abilities taken at level 20:
Level 1: Knockdown: this will be a decent tool against low fortitude enemies. Don't take the upgrade, as it lowers the total damage due to the way Power Levels work.
Level 2: Discipline Barrage: no brainer
- Fighter Stances: no brainer
- Confident Aim: Graze to Hit is good the entire game.
Level 4: Determination: Resisting will not be enough to prevent all Constitution afflictions. At least we won't be stuck with a total healing shutdown.
Level 5: This is where you choose basically between an outlast build (Tactical Barrage) and a burst down build (Disciplined Strikes). This choice will have consequences down the line so choose well.
- Tactical Barrage Who am I kidding, get DISCIPLINED STRIKES
- Two handed style
Level 6: Hold the Line: best upgrade to mob stance. As an unbroken, you now have 3 base engagement, that's 15% faster recovery. You can take it later, but at low level we're going to use Defender Stance for a bit, so it's not a bad pick.
- Weapon Specialization (here we'd probably pick the Dexterity resistance if we weren't going for the gloves or don't have them yet)
Level 8: Penetrating Strike. We're going to fight a bit with two weapons at some point, namely to defeat Fampyrs. It's also a decent attack vs high fortitude/high armor targets
- Unbending: best skill in the game
- Mob Stance: second best skill in the game. It shines with Wahai Poraga before and after the nerf.
- Uncanny Luck
- Clear Out
- Improved Criticals
Level 12: Conquerer Stance: when only one enemy is left, we might become resource-starved. Conquerer Stance is there to counter that. It's not required by any mean, it's just nice to have.
- Unbending Shield. The Concentration from Resolute is necessary for the build to work. Interrupts are far too dangerous in this build. It's not negociable. Too bad, as this upgrades our Deflection quite a bit.
- Power Strike. A very situational skill. We're not going to use it much.
- Weapon Mastery
- Arms Bearer: because we can, and now is as good a time as any.
- Toughened Fury: this is what makes the build so fearsome at high level.
- Clean Sweep: our mobility skill. Just punch everything and walk past. Because Charge is useless on this build.
- Two weapons style: because why not. We will, after all, dual-wield a bit against Fampyrs.
- Combat Focus: you don't want to be interrupted on your opener.
- Inspired Strike: our opener. I'm kidding. Don't open with that, you will die before you recover. Always open with a "body pull" into Unbending Shield. This one is mostly for the Acute buff to Intellect and Power Level for duration. Use it a few seconds before casting your second Inspired Strike/Unbending Shield, only if the enemy is still alive, and only if you are already back to full Discipline at this point.
- Sundering Blow: surprise du chef with Wahai Poraga. Also useful for single target.
As for our gear:
Weapon 1: Wahai Poroga (for sheer absolute devastation before the impending nerf), with Counterattack enchant
Weapon 2: Voidwheel (for great singletarget damage) with Necrotic Heart
Weapon 3: Modwyr and Kapana Taga with Champion's Relic and Unblockable
Weapon 4: The Red Hand with Guilty Conscience and Double Barrel
The rest are a matter of choosing how you acquire your resistances and how you want to play your secondary skills
Examples of setups:
Setup #1 - Alchemy/Accuracy/Multiple Weapons
- Serpent Crown
- Strand of Favor
- Effigy's Husk
- Ring of the Solitary Wanderer/Kuaru's prize
- Boots of the Stone
- Giftbearer's Cloth
- Engwithan Bracers
- Amazing and Truly Incredible Instant Potion Belt
- Prissy (+healing pet)
Pros: alchemy, immunity to Perception, decent +duration, excellent accuracy
Setup #2 Alchemy/Duration/Multiple Weapons/Lightning Explosion
same as setup #1 but with Heaven's Cacophony
Pros: alchemy, immunity to Perception, great +duration, superb per rest ability (if you want to rest)
Setup #3 All-out Discipline
- Defiant Apparel
- Wahaki Tua
- Devil of Caroc Breastplate
- Ring of the Solitary Wanderer/Kuaru's prize
- Boots of the Stone
- Giftbearer's Cloth
- Gauntlets of Discipline
- Gwyn's Bridal Garter
Adjust the build, instead of Arms Bearer and Fearless go for +1 Discipline and Armor Recovery Bonus
Pros: large amount of Discipline (+5 before resting buffs), can be adjusted for other races if you pick the constitution resistance.
Setup #3': racial variants
- Amaua: use Footprints of Ahu Taka instead of Boots of the Stone
- Wood Elf: use Alchemy Belt instead of Bridal Garter
The main issue is the loss of Perception Immunity. Those can really hurt with their recovery penalty, especially when fighting Pirates. Some of them simply spam Gouging Strike all fight long. Not being perception immune means you will lose your Discipline Strike buff whenever they attack. This is bad. You can somewhat counter that by going all-out with +defenses (except deflection), but even a single Disorient makes this strategy risky due to the -100% recovery debuff that can really mess the timing of your next Unbending.
The basic strat, before the incoming Wahai Poraga nerf: engage, immediately activate Unbending Shield and Disciplined Strikes, wait until everyone is bunched up around you, then use Sundering Blow with Wahai Poroga. Everyone except for one mob will instantly die. Then you switch to Voidwheel and finish the last enemy standing with an Inspired Strike into a devastating strike or a knockdown if you feel playful. Remember to activate the modal on the Voidwheel, and to switch to Conquerer Stance after the rampage is done.
After the nerf, engage, immediately activate Unbending Shield and Disciplined Strikes, you're going to be alternating between a damaging phase and a "sustain" phase. The sustain is done with Modwyr in hand. Activate the Sword modal to reduce your deflection as much as possible (to give you an idea, at level 20, my character has 57 deflection), and let the enemy crit you. That's right, eat disengage attacks if you must, let the enemy crit you so you can recover your Discipline, at least two points so you can cast another Unbending Shield. As long as you keep taking damage, you're essentially immortal due to the way Unbending works, so keep running and gathering enemies. The more enemies you have mashing on you, the more firepower you accumulate for Clean Sweeps with your two-hander.
An Estoc (pick the one you prefer, they're all decent) is actually optimal most of the time until you get Voidwheel, since it lets you Clean Sweep without hurting your discipline generation. There are quite a few pierce immunes in game though, be ready for some rough spots.
Couple things: "on being crit" effects are generally nice, but two of them (the girdle of Ngati and the Kettle Helmet) are actually traps for high level gameplay, as they cause knockback and knockdowns on enemies, which makes it harder for them to keep critting you, and ironically they end up reducing your survivability.
In general, you shouldn't let your health get below 90%, and you shouldn't let Unbending fall off at all. You have plenty of time to recast it though, and with Resolute you should be fine.
If you dump all your discipline into single target damage attacks you should be able to deal a total of 400-600 damage at level 20. If you go for the max Discipline Build, that's about 600-900 damage in total. That's not enough, obviously, to kill everyone. So don't try unless you only have one enemy or two. It's far better to gather a ton of them and use Clean Sweeps. Remember to let them crit you to regen your discipline.
...and if all else fails, you have drugs, explosives, offensive potions, per rest abilities and resting bonuses. I never really used those after the early game, because I didn't need to. This makes the build compatible with a "no rest" strategy, but probably only past midgame. I'm not an expert in that domain, but I know you can cover most immunities and resistances with these buffs. This changes the entire skill and gear allocation. I'll come back with the variant at a later time once I've got some experience with that strategy, but feel free to chime in and fill the blanks! I did recommend Arquebus for The Red Hand. Just go for the 2% damage taken & received.
On damage numbers:
It's hard to compare from this class to another. Wahai Poraga is simply broken and makes everything else in the game look bad. On the other side of the spectrum, Voidwheel is great without using any consumable. It's often compared to a rogue's output with two weapons and full attacks, but no one to my knowledge has even tried to make Voidwheel really, really work, with proper consumables and all. It has potential in this build. Having 6-7 mobs gang up on you with this build is trivial. With consumables, Clean Sweeping 6-7 mobs for ~100 each is easy. Having one of those proc for ~100 more total damage is easy too. Right now were at about 700 damage from a 2 Discipline primary attack. That's not taking into account the fact that Clean Sweep has a tendency to hit the primary target twice for some reason, and that's not taking into account the potential Mob Stance procs, which can themselves proc a Necrotic Heart, which can itself proc a Mob Stance etc.
But of course this is not a Striker build. It's an Undying Titan build.
Thanks for reading if you made it that far and have a wonderful day.